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Category: Cabin Con (Page 1 of 3)

CabinCon Cup: Part 2, Nürburg

After a break, our team concluded our 2-game mini-cup with a 2-lap session of Nürburg. We all took a moment to re-tool our cars and I decided to create a lop-sided car with an 80 acceleration and a 40 deceleration.  To help compensate for all the late braking I might need to do, I dropped my skill in favor of more wear tokens.

After the bidding, I did slightly better than last time and came in 4th position.

Colton, in the black no. 4, decided to follow the “lead from the front” strategy in the rule book and bid high for pole position.  He took off quickly, pushing his start speed to 140 while the rest of us played conservative and fell in line.

Using my acceleration, I (green car) pulled into 2nd following slightly behind Colton. Sterling in red decided to take the outside line while Reese in Blue fell in behind me.

Colton continued to push and burn wear while I fell back a little.  Sterling’s outside line caused him to fall back into fourth.

Colton used the straight to widen his lead and quickly was getting into a dominant position.  James’ silver car started to make a move on the pack I’m leading.

The third turn pulls Colton back a little but James is able to push hard to fourth and battle into the second place scrum that is developing between Reese (blue car) and I.

A shot from the rear as Colton starts the next turn and James falls in line behind Reese and I.

Heading into the straights, James starts to get into position.  His car is the fastest with high acceleration and the highest top speed of all of us at 180 mph.  He also isn’t afraid to push it to 200 when he needs to.

It doesn’t quite time out for James and he’s forced to get back behind Reese. Colton is able to maintain about 4 spaces on us but can’t seem to get any further away.

My acceleration spaces us out in the straight and I gain on Colton’s ultimately slower car.

Colton is forced to slow-up for the turn and we descend on him, cutting his lead to one.  This has some unintended consequences as all hell breaks loose.

James, seeing an opportunity to really “be somebody,” pushes the 80 mph corner at 140, uses two wear and a green skill token but still gets burned by boxcars on the dice.  The resulting crash happens before Reese can approach the corner and the debris causes him to spin out.  Since I got through before James’ death rush, I was about to pull up alongside Colton.

Sterling and Jeremy round out the crazy turn by starting a battle for 5th place.

Colton is able to negotiate the corner and I’m not willing to risk hitting the corner at a faster speed to beat him off the line. The craziness of James’ wreck allows Jeremy to blast into 3rd from the rear.

James is able to get free of his wreck moments before it starts to smoke and flame.

I totally mismanage this upcoming turn as I know Colton is going to go 80 mph to line up this inside line (eventually slowing to 60 mph) and he is out of wear. For some reason, I think I’ll be able to go 100 mph get alongside him again. Instead, I chicken out and end up late braking and burning my wear token advantage on him.  At this point, I realize that if I just maintain second, my overall points will give me the Cabin Con Cup.

Re-evaluating this turn, I should have maintained my 100 mph and taken the outside line. The next turn would have dropped me to 60 (or 80 if I wanted to spend the wear I would have lost late braking).  Either one would have put me either alongside Colton through the turn or one space past him to take the lead.

Colton and I take this first turn at the stock value and cause Jeremy to late brake but it messes up his deceleration and he spins. I’m in the beginning of the turn now doing 40 mph and Colton is in a great position to accelerate out of the turn.

I botch the corner and Colton is able to take off again. Reese tries to make a move but spins out and Sterling starts to march on Jeremy.

Jeremy pushes again fighting Sterling but with a naked chance roll, he rolls just enough to crash out and starts smoking.

Now there are four racers left and Colton has regained a good lead while I’ve separated from the remaining cars as well.

We’re back in the straights and I can make up more ground as we approach “James’ Doom.”

We come into the critical last turn. Colton knows my car will take him to task out of the turn as I have both the top speed and acceleration on him so he elects to maintain as much speed as possible taking the outer line.

His gambit pays off as I stay 2 spaces behind but he’s still going 100 mph and can accelerate to his top 140 while I’m at 60 mph and can also jump up to 140.  Even if I push to 160, I won’t be able to break even with Colton so I leave it and hope Reese doesn’t have a trick up his sleeve to push me out of second place.

Colton takes the flag and I, predictably, stay within two spaces of him.  The race may have ended up a little different but I played conservative to maintain my second place.

Even though the race results didn’t change much after the first turn or so, I still found it really tense. It seemed like I was caught in this never ending trap of trying to keep up with Colton while getting distance on the pack behind me.  The pack behind me was frightening because they felt like they had nothing to lose and so kept pushing chance rolls all the time. If it was just one car pushing chance all the time, I’d be less concerned as the dice would eventually fail but with three cars, it always seemed like someone was on verge of coming up and winning their chance rolls.

After this race, the final standings were:

  • Myself: 5.1 pts
  • Colton: 4.2 pts
  • Reese: 4.1 pts
  • Sterling: 3.2 pts
  • Jeremy: 2.2 pts
  • James: 2.0 pts

CabinCon Cup: Part 1, Monza

As I recapped earlier, we were able to run a small 2-race CFR championship at our game gathering, CabinCon.  Since we had some new players, we ran a quick demo of the track through the first turn.  I showed the rest of players how to crash out in spectacular fashion by pushing my car 60 mph over the top cornering speed and rolling boxcars (12).

With a couple of turns under their belt, everyone was ready to build their cars and start up the actual race.

We bid out for position: Sterling in Red, James in Silver, Jeremy in Yellow, Reese in Blue, me in Green, and Colton in Black in the very back.  It probably would have been good to record the driver car layouts but I forgot.  I didn’t really build for a “rear strategy” but there I was, looking at the 5th spot.

After the first two turns, I was able to crowd the line with Reese and Jeremy to fight for second place before the first turn.

I then decide to push hard and ditch the line spending as much wear as possible to beat Reese and Jeremy.

I push hard again and cut off Sterling in the lead.

Using my higher speed and better acceleration, I push out ahead of Sterling to take the lead.

The pack tightens up behind us and start battling for 3rd place.

Colton is tired of trying to fall in line behind the 3rd place fighters and pushes hard to skip the optimal line and go toe-to-toe with Reese in the blue car.  Sterling sticks with me through the corner.

I decide to push in these corners again and create a gap between Sterling and I.  Colton isn’t able to capitalize on his fight with Reese and falls back to deal with James.

Colton drops back to 5th as he loses his fight with James and I maintain my one space gap on Sterling, insuring he can’t draft off me.

I decide to keep my speed up through this little turn and Sterling is able to close the gap while James starts to battle Reese for 3rd.

We make a bad rules call not realize that Sterling could accelerate while in the turn’s last space and it puts him 2 spaces behind me.

I get through the turn easily while James and Reese battle some more and Colton swoops in waiting for someone to make a mistake.

We wrap up the first lap with Reese, Colton, and James in a 3-way spread for 3rd while I maintain my gap on Sterling.

Sterling plays the lead up to the turn slow and Reese decides to push and pass through Sterling. The gamble pays off and he squeezes past Sterling to set up a good start for attacking 2nd place.  Colton decides again to ignore the line and pushes to battle for 2nd.

The fight takes it’s toll. Colton pushes hard to gain on Reese, taking 2nd, Reese is forced off his line and Sterling is forced to chance and spins out.  I smile as my lead widens.

The racers form up and Colton pushes a little faster than Reese and gains some breathing room.  Jeremy starts to battle James for 5th place as he starts to make his move, spending his nice bank of wear tokens.

Reese closes the gap on Colton and the bottom half of the players start to bunch up.

Everyone bogs down slightly in the corner and I push to increase my lead to a comfortable margin.

James isn’t able to take the corner and Sterling and Jeremy push past, knocking James down to the 6th spot.

Coming into the final turns, Colton gets jammed up in a corner as he forgets which card was his current speed and which was the new speed and ends up spending his last wear token in the penultimate corner.  Reese still has enough in the tank to capitalize and charge into 2nd place.

I sweep the corner easily and since we fixed the corner rule mistake, Reese is able to accelerate out of his corner while Colton is stuck at his previous speed and loses ground on Reese.

Colton tries to push this corner to take Reese but without a token, he has to dice it.  He ends up in a spin with a horribly 20 mph start speed.  Jeremy is solidifying his 4th place bid at the time and now eyes a very worried Colton.

The dice Gods are not pleased and Colton tries to push his start speed but ends up jamming gears and goes nowhere. Jeremy pushes the corner and also spins out allowing James to catch up and Sterling to overtake into 4th place.  Reese and I easily cross for 2nd and 1st, respectively.

Colton and Jeremy both start back up and are neck and neck but Jeremy is on the faster outside.  Sterling breaks away from both for a solid 3rd place and James tries to make a move but also ends up in a spin.

Colton is able to stay with Jeremy all the way through the finish and takes a photo finish 4th place.  Monza completes and we have the initial standings.

We decided to make a custom scoring system to keep the points tight race to race:

  • 1st: 3.0 pts
  • 2nd: 2.1 pts
  • 3rd: 2.0 pts
  • 4th: 1.2 pts
  • 5th: 1.1 pt
  • 6th: 1.0 pts

This system kept things from looking bleak between last and first place and allowed for some slight tie-breakers with the fractional points.  After Monza, we tackled Nürberg.


Batman Miniature Game: Bane’s Bane

In prepping for our CabinCon weekend, I pushed through and painted up a few more minis in case we decided to play a bigger 200 point game.

First up was getting Gordon ready.  Here he is with my final block painting.  I threw a dark wash on him after to give him a little more depth.

Next, Batfleck joined the ranks. Again, a final wash happened later.

And finally, Pandaman gets a paint up to join my Joker crew. Dark wash came later. I think this is my favorite mini from the Suicide Squad set as I really like the Panda + Assault Rifle juxtaposition.  I immediately thought he was a great character to add in the movie and works well in miniature.

We can’t play on a bare table, now can we? So I printed out a bunch of tiles from my Fat Dragon city pack and taped them together in a modern, diagonal setting (something I’ve been seeing more and more of and really like the aesthetic).

For the game, I don’t recall the scenario but in the end, we had to heavily modify so I’m not sure it mattered.  We ended up doing another 150 point game so I grabbed the same Joker (Leto) + Eyeball Man and Colton wanted to see Bane in action after he painted him up.

Using out new light-up lamps, we played around with some photo ops before we began the game in earnest.  As you can see, I’m leaning heavily on my B/W Walking Dead terrain.

We set up the board with my Joker crew on the left and Bane on the right.  Batfleck swoops in to watch.  We have objectives in the central area as we realized pretty quick that Bane likely can’t win an objective-based scenario all by himself and the game would quickly devolve into a pretty lame experience.  After looking at everything, I’m still a little worried it won’t be a very compelling game with this set up but we push on.

I start out by quickly running to one of Bane’s cash objectives.

Eyeball Man picks it up for one victory point at the end of the round.

Colton decides that Bane will take too long to cross the board on foot and descends into the sewers. This creates a pretty weird game where Bane does nothing first turn, will spend a whole second turn in the sewers, and then finally act in round 3. Joker (Leto) also has a power to remove an opponent’s initiative chip from the round bag, shortening our six round game to five. 40% of the game, Bane will spend in the sewers. We’ll see if it pays off.

Bane’s sewer ploy does create an interesting dilemma where I could go run around and get objectives but that would likely split my forces and Bane could pick me apart. If Bane focuses on Joker, I’d likely lose quickly.  I opt instead to force Bane to enter in a way that will force him to engage Eyeball Man.  I block the closest Sewer grate with both figures (necessary since Bane is a big model) and have Joker (Leto) on the side with the car blocking any straight attack vectors.

As predicted, Bane enters round 3 on the opposite side with initiative.

But Bane falls just short of being able to engage Eyeball Man directly due to having to spend some counters moving out of the sewer.  With so few rounds left, Bane is also Titan Dosing every turn.  Luckily, there is a Titan Dose objective of his right near me so he can start earning VPs as well.

I have a pretty good position so I decide to see just how tough Bane is.  Eyeball Man unloads three shots into him and hit once. Bane takes a wound. Good thing he has… TEN Endurance. Ugh. Maybe Joker can do better. Nope, Joker misses all three of his shots.  Bane has 9 life left and I just unloaded with about the best I could do. Valor was never a villains strong suit anyway so time to switch tactics.

I did have the decision that I could have stood my ground and with a 50/50 chance of getting the next activation, try this whole “shoot the big guy” strategy again but I didn’t want to risk it.  I would have needed to hit with all my shots in the next in round in addition to winning initiative and I just didn’t see that happening after going one for six shots earlier.

I end up getting initiative anyway. I stay the course though and leave Eyeball Man as fodder for Bane and move Joker further out of the way.

Bane goes after the easy Eyeball Man target.

Bane inflicts 2 damage on Eyeball Man but doesn’t pull off a pin.

Eyeball Man is only able to use his activation to move further away (he’s been carrying Bane’s Cash objective the whole time so his action are limited).

Bane gets the initiative in the next round and engages Eyeball Man again.

This time, Bane does was Bane does best and smashes Eyeball Man unconscious.

I then have Joker get to my Ammunition objective and end the game 5 VP to 3.  We didn’t really think this could go any other way unless Bane could have gotten a hold of Joker and pounded him down.  While the game was pretty pedestrian in the results, it was good to see that Bane didn’t just keel over from a hail of gunfire and that having him catch you wasn’t an automatic death sentence.

For future games, we’ll take into account the fact that some of these 150 point demo games likely can’t be used in a real scenario objective game.  We’ll probably need to bump up the points to 200 to get a little bit more strategy involved.

Cabin Con 2017 Recap

Our yearly game gathering, Cabin Con, has come and gone.  It was a great time this year and I think we’ve hit our stride as we’ve done this enough times to relax a bit on the planning and still have it work very well.   Six of us were there this year and we hit a ton of game over the four and a half days.  Below is a quick recap:

  • The Duke (11 plays) – The Duke was by far the most played game we hit during the weekend.  It helps that three of us are avid players.

The Duke

  • Mystic Vale (3 plays) – We finally got this deck-builder to the table and even though I’ve gotten stomped in every game, there is something seductive about the card crafting you do.
  • Rattus (1 play) – We first hit this last year and it still proves to be an engaging area-control game.
  • Santorini (3 plays) – A new abstract game for the group but while it looks amazing, it doesn’t have the strategic pull that The Duke offers.  Still a fun time though.
  • Camel Up (2 plays) – A perennial favorite with our group due to the willingness to push the camels into complete chaos and never let a camel get too far ahead or behind.
  • 7 Wonders (2 plays) – It’s been awhile since we hit this old standby but with 6 players at the cabin, this is a perfect medium weight game that can get everyone involved
  • Star Wars: Destiny (1 play) – I tried this late at night and with non-starter decks thrown together and the experience was pretty miserable.  Maybe the game will be better with beginner decks.
  • Tiny Epic Galaxies (1 play) – We have a lot of “Tiny Epic” fans so it wasn’t a surprise to see one of these games hit the table.
  • Road Hog (1 play) – I picked this game up right before the ‘Con and during a lull, we put it out.  It went as expected (light, tactical game) but definitely needs more players to be interactive.

Road Hog

  • Fugitive (1 play) – I only saw the tail end of this game so I wasn’t quite sure what was going on.  Seemed like an asymmetrical deductive game.
  • One Deck Dungeon (6 plays) – This game saw a lot of hits last year but as a solo game, it was usually pulled out when others were busy doing something else.  To my knowledge, no one ever won a game.
  • Dead Man’s Draw (1 play) – This light card game could have come out a lot more but most of us are pushing variety in gaming during this ‘Con so it’ll have to wait for a different lull in our gaming schedule to see more table time.
  • Isle of Skye (1 play) – This Carcassonne killer always seems to come out when we have new players.  What’s nice is the new player tends to win out.  Maybe the veterans just overthink this game.
  • Wrath of Dragons (1 play) – I was tasked with running this one but totally didn’t prep enough so it ended up pretty botched. Even with the rules mistakes, I was reminded how much I like this game.  Now that we’ve gotten a game under our belt as a group, it’ll be good to throw it on the table again.

Wrath of Dragons… sort of.

  • Valeria: Card Kingdoms (1 play) – This engine building game initially sounded like a better themed Machi Koro but quickly turned into a slog and just seemed to never end.  It might have been the weird card combinations that came out but it was sad to see it fall flat after so much potential.
  • Crokinole (3 plays) – Our top dexterity game got some love this weekend with new players.
  • Liar’s Dice (1 play) – This Cabin Con darling didn’t get as much love this year but still made an appearance.
  • X-wing Miniatures Game (1 play) – We decided to break out some X-wing since my friend has kept on collecting even after I stopped.  It had been awhile since the last time I played but it came back quickly and has started a renewed interest.  I’m sure we’ll see more it hit the table again in the future.

X-wing bombing run

  • Friday (1 play) – This solo game hit while I was sleeping.
  • Five Minute Dungeon (2 plays) – Another “while I was sleeping” game.  Too many late night miniatures games to meet up with the early risers
  • Roll for the Galaxy (1 play) – Another hot game from yesteryear and we all agreed that we forgot how much we like this game.  Hopefully we’ll see it come out again.

Roll for the Galaxy

  • Patchwork (1 play) – This game was going on when I pulled out Hnefatafl.
  • Hnefatafl (1 play) – We tried this ancient abstract game again, this time using more established rules (4 enemies to capture the king, no one can go through the middle or ship spaces, King can’t capture, etc). It went a lot smoother but we’re basically in the infancy of learning this one.
  • Championship Formula Racing (2 plays) – One of the Cabin Con “premiere” games for this year.  We held back-to-back races to crown a Cabin Con Cup winner.  Players were discussing the possibility of playing a 3rd game so it must have went over well.  Report to follow.

Championship Formula Racing

  • Mansions of Madness (1 play) – We tried to bust out a game of co-op Descent but we forgot to bring the map tiles so we switched gears and pulled out Mansions instead.  I led us to ruin as my strong armed but weak-minded gangster went insane and melted his mind in only a few turns near the end.  The game is ok but for all the story-driven content, it’s weird that there is no story for how our random bunch of misfits came together in the first place.
  • Villages of Valeria (1 play) – I missed this one as well.
  • Clank! (2 plays) – Another deck builder to hit the table.  I think this is my favorite concept of the deck builder genre.  The combination of board play and deck building works very well with so many push-your-luck elements.
  • Kingsburg (1 play) – This game is an old standby of mine. It hasn’t come out in years but it was good to see it again.
  • Valley of the Kings: Afterlife (1 play) – Another game I missed. It looked like light deck builder.
  • Jamaica (1 play) – This pirate racing game used be a big hit even among new players but it played pretty middle tier when it hit with the group. It has some oddly restrictive actions so I wonder if that just irked the players a little.
  • Batman Miniature Game (1 play) – As I wrote about last week, we finished up our LED lampposts and got it to the table. Report to follow.

Batman Miniature Game

Batman Miniature Game

  • Quadropolis (1 play) – The last game we hit at Cabin Con.  It’s a nice little city builder that went down to a tiebreaker victory.

All in all, we hit 32 unique games in 58 total games played over the four and a half day period.  Not too bad.

(baby) moose

and squirrel!

Until Next Time!

CabinCon Prep: Tiny Ass Numbers on Tiny Ass Cars

With CabinCon (our yearly friend meet-up where we catch up and play games up in the mountains) starting Wednesday, there are few things I want to get done before I leave so today was a major prep day.

One thing I want to host this year is a Championship Formula Racing mini cup, a “CabinCon Cup,” if you will.  This will be two or three races with point scoring to determine the overall winner.  I picked up a set of 1957 F1 cars on Shapeways to serve as each player’s cars and as is our custom for CabinCon, these will be given away to each player along with whatever placement prize they achieve during the CabinCon Cup.

After painting a set of the cars up, I wanted to work on the “trophy” stands that will also serve as prizes for the event.

This is a pretty simple stand with a little wooden bit at the bottom and a dowel post at the top, which will support the car.  Magnets for the post and the cars will make it so the cars stay on the stand and can be interchangeable.

So here we have the concept all primed up.  I then had to drill into the cars to magnetize them.  This always sucks but I’ve gotten used to it after all the Dropzone Commander that I’ve magnetized.

Just make sure to mark the magnets for polarity so that everything lines up at the end.

Next came the painting of the actual cars.  Unlike my last set of painted Formula 1 cars, I used google image search more for inspiration rather than trying to find the actual car color schemes.

The 1957 formula 1 cars are pretty conservative on detail which made painting them up pretty quick.  I decided to enhance that detail by adding numbers this time.  Not sure how soon I’ll be doing that again though.  It is really time-consuming and a bit nerve-wracking.  I’m pretty happy with the results but it’s not something I want to jump back into tomorrow. Luckily, I don’t have to as I’m all done with the cars.

Now to complete the trophy stands.

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